State Budgets

The Williams Report

Budget:

Alaska: Fate of Competing Plans to Close State Budget is Uncertain

California: Despite Increases in State Funding to Schools, Budget Concerns Rise Due to Pension Costs

Colorado: After Marathon Debate, Colorado House Delays Vote On $26.8 Billion State Budget

Connecticut: The Bill Proposed by Rep. Kupchick Would Require Collective Bargaining Agreements for state employees to be approved by both the House and Senate.

Connecticut: Governor’s Budget $153 Million Over the State Spending Cap; proposes removing pension payments from spending cap requirements to allow an additional $153 million in spending.

Connecticut: State Retirees Healthcare Costs Now Exceed Health Care Costs for Current Employees

Connecticut: Hedge Funds Threaten to Leave Connecticut Over Surcharge
The Connecticut Hedge Fund Association says many hedge funds would leave to seek a favorable tax climate.

Florida: Representatives and Senators Struggle to Reconcile a $4 Billion Difference in Budget Proposals, as Well as Differing Budgetary Priorities

Illinois: Moody’s Warning Of An Inflection Point In Illinois Signals Need For Spending Reform
“Illinois may be entering a vicious cycle in which increasing population losses lead to an intractable economic crisis.”

Iowa: Iowa GOP Lawmakers Call for Cuts In State Spending

Kansas: Kansas Governor Vetoes Expansion of State’s Medicaid Program citing that it would not help “the truly vulnerable,” would add to the state’s financial burdens, and would provide additional funds to Planned Parenthood.

Kansas: Legislature Passes Bill Mending Roughly $290 Million 2017 Budget Shortfall by using money from a long term investment fund

Kentucky: Kentucky Will Likely Face a Budget Shortfall This Year, Official Warns

Louisiana: Study: Privatization of State Hospitals Has Increased State Revenue By $2.7 Billion and More Reliable Services for Patients

Maine: Republicans, Democrats “Very Far Apart” On State Budget Negotiations

Massachusetts: House Unveils $40.3 Billion State Budget

Montana: Montana Lawmakers Look to Head-Off Future Revenue Shortfalls by Creating Rainy Day Fund

New Hampshire:  House Fails to Pass State Budget for First Time in Decades  

New Jersey: Democrats, Republicans, Dispute Size of Structural Deficit – And What it Means

New Mexico: Governor Signs State Budget Bill, Vetoes Parts of Plan

Pennsylvania: House Sends Pared-Down Budget Bill to Senate

Texas:  Next Step: House, Senate Must Work Toward Agreement on State Budget 

Vermont: House Finds Rare Unity in Cautious State Budget

Washington: House Passes Two-Year $44.9 Billion State Budget

West Virginia: House Committee Advances Sales Tax Changes to decrease the rate and broaden the tax base.

Wyoming:  Many of the Senate’s Top Priorities Reached in State Budget

Pensions:

Pew Charitable Trusts Reports State Pension Funds, Including Oregon’s PERS, are Making Riskier Investments April 12.

California: The Cost of California’s Public Pensions Is Breaking the Bank. Here’s One Reason This Problem Is So Hard to Fix
Some taxpayer advocates contend that language chosen by state attorneys general to describe pension reforms is not impartial and instead favors union positions despite legal requirements that the language be impartial.

California: Appeals Court Vindicates San Diego’s 2012  decision to transition new employees to a 401(k) style retirement system instead of a traditional pension.

Connecticut: Rep. Kupchick: Exempt Teacher Pensions From Personal Income Tax

Illinois: Cullerton at College Event: Support forPension Reform Hard Because Unions Opposed

Illinois: Analysis: Pension Fiasco Spells Future Trouble for Illinois

Illinois: Lawmakers Blame Pension Debt for Late State Payments to Schools

Kentucky: As Kentucky’s Pension System Flounders, Governor Bevin Proposes Substantial Changes Including Transitioning to a 401(k) System for State Employees

Missouri: Missouri Mulling Pension Payouts for Some Former State Workers to save the pension system $7 million per year going forward

New Jersey: EDITORIAL: Governor Christie’s plan to tie lottery proceeds to pensions would ensure that a payment is made each year into the pension system

New York: Former New York State Pension Director Allegedly Hid Pay-to-Play Scheme

North Carolina: NC Bill Would Eliminate Pensions, Limit Health Care For New State Workers

North Carolina: Trouble Looms for State Pension and Health Plan
North Carolina’s treasurer cites under performance of investments as one issue facing the state’s pension system.  Despite a discount rate of 7.25 percent, the last fiscal year saw less than 1 percent in returns and the last 15 years say just over 6 percent.

Pennsylvania: Corman Exhorts Pension Reform to Balance Budget, Including a Defined Contribution System for New Hires

Rhode Island: Treasurer Magaziner Proposes Allowing Underfunded Local Pension Systems to Join the State’s Municipal Employees’ Retirement System (MERS) to Decrease Overhead Costs

South Carolina: $145 million Was Approved by the Senate for state and local pension systems, increasing the state commitment to 12.6 percent of employee’s salaries with plans to increase it to 18.6 percent.

South Carolina: State Pension Reform Bill Heads to Gov. McMaster, Would Require Increased Contributions From Workers and Taxpayers

Texas:  Moody’s Warns Pension Reform is Vital for Houston to Avoid Credit Rating Downgrading

Texas: State House Committee Passes Houston Pension Reform Bill
“Turner’s proposal recalculates the city’s pension payments, using lower investment return assumptions and aiming to retire the debt in 30 years, both of which would increase the city’s annual costs.”

Texas: As Lawmakers Try to Fix City Pensions, Personal and Business Ties Emerge
“State lawmakers rarely recuse themselves from legislative votes because the definition of a conflict of interest is broad in Texas. Plus, there is no meaningful enforcement mechanism if existing rules are violated.”


In Depth: State Budgets

Smart budgeting is vital to a state’s financial health. The ALEC State Budget Reform Toolkit offers more than 20 policy ideas for addressing today’s shortfalls in a forthright manner, without resorting to budget gimmicks or damaging tax increases. One way to stabilize budgets over time is to embrace …

+ State Budgets In Depth